MacBook Air: Common Questions

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Common Questions

Mac OS X Version?

The MacBook Air comes with Mac OS 10.5 (Leopard) Build 9B2324. As typical with any new Apple Macintosh computer, the version of Leopard that comes with the MacBook Air is only compatible with it.

What does SSD and HDD mean?

SSD = Solid State Drive. HDD = Hard Disk Drive.

Can you replace the hard drive later?

Yes, since the drives are not soldered onto the motherboard, they can be replaced if you are willing to disassemble the computer. iFixit provides a detailed disassembly guide.

Can you replace the battery?

The battery is not considered a user replaceable part. It requires unscrewing the bottom of the case in order to access it. So, if your battery wears out, you will be able to replace it, but you won't be able to buy a spare and replace it in day to day usage. Apple offers a $129 option to replace the battery, but 3rd party solutions are also expected to be released.

How much battery life?

The MacBook Air is officially rated to run for 5 hours on one charge. Individual experiences with battery life vary from 2.5hrs to 4.5hrs depending on usage. AnandTech provided some standardized tests that provides the best measure of battery life:

1) Use Wifi to browse 20 pages in a loop, spending 20 seconds on each page, while playing MP3s in iTunes. 4hr 16min 2) Play a DVD image (off the internal hard drive) in a loop. 3hr 25min 3) Download 10GB of files, Web browsing loop from #1, play two 480p Xvid videos in a loop. 2hr 25min

Does the SSD version offer more battery life?

At the moment, the answer is "no". Walt Mossberg compared a 1.6GHz HDD and 1.8GHz SSD MacBook Air and found under his standard test, that there was only a 5 minute difference between the HDD and SSD version.

Benchmarks

How Much Drive Space is Available in a New MacBook Air

  • 80 GB HDD has XX GB Free out of the box
  • 64 GB SSD has XX GB Free out of the box

Will I be able to boot from a CD/DVD without the optional SuperDrive?

If you have access to another Macintosh or Windows machine, yes. A program to share another computer's drive is located on the Leopard installation DVD shipped with the MacBook Air.

Tips

How to Save Drive Space

With only 80GB and 64GB models available

Battery Conditioning

See Also